The novel, Vanishes On the Road Ahead, Sono saki no michini kieru, published in October, revolves around the discovery in an apartment of a corpse of a Kinbakushi, a Japanese bondage rope-master.
Kinbakushi, also known as Nawashi, are considered within Japanese sadomasochism (S&M) circles as artists for their ability to tie-up and bind, mostly women, beautifully, creating erotic art and images.
Vanishes On the Road Ahead is being published by Asahi Shimbun Publishing, the book publishing arm of one of Japan’s leading newspapers. The book publishing house is celebrating its 10th anniversary and Nakamura’s novel is part of its anniversary campaign.
The Asahi media group is promoting the novel and Nakamura extensively: book signings are taking place at major bookshops in Tokyo; advertisements have been run in its national newspaper; and Nakamura is featured on this month’s cover of AERA, the group’s influential weekly magazine.
The magazine’s name, AERA, is derived from the Latin word for era and being featured on its cover has similar prestige in Japan as being on the cover of the American magazine Time. In the past, Lady Gaga, Richard Gere and Jeff Bezos have appeared on its cover.
Nakamura is having a big year. The English translation of his acclaimed novel Cult X was published in May by Soho Crime and three films are being launched in Japan in 2018 based on his books. In November the film adaption of his debut novel The Gun, Ju (銃),will be released. Nakamura’s recent novels including R Empire (R帝国) published last year, to critical acclaim in Japan, often have unusual and striking covers. The cover of Vanishes On the Road Ahead, is no exception. It was designed by the renowned Japanese rope-artist and photographer Hajime Kinoko whose work has been featured in magazines and exhibitions.
Despite not knowing each other before the cover was commissioned Nakamura and Kinoko, who are the same age, discovered that they have their own ties – they both grew up in the same town in Aichi Prefecture.
The book, which the author regards as his best to date, is a 256-page narrative exploring the universal themes of love, belief and fate.
The corpse of a Kinbakushi, a Japanese bondage rope-master, is discovered in an apartment. Subsequently, a detective is caught by a colleague trying to divert suspicion by disguising the fingerprints of Maiko Kirita, an important person of interest to the police, and a woman the detective is ‘attracted to’. The reader is then lead in an unexpected direction in a quest to establish the background to the death and the identity of the culprit. Until a handwritten note, titled ‘a confession-of-existence’ is unearthed.
- About Red Circle:Red Circle Authors Limited is a specialist publishing and communications company that conducts bespoke projects on behalf of a carefully selected and curated group of leading Japanese authors. Red Circle showcases Japan’s best creative writing. For more information on Red Circle, Japanese literature, and Red Circle authors please visit: www.redcircleauthors.com.